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Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'

Pronunciation: en-SET-ee ven-tre-KO-sum
Family: Musaceae
Synonym: Musa arnoldiana, Musa ensete
Common Name: Red Banana, Abyssinian Banana, Ethiopian banana
Cultivar: Maurelli
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 20ft (6m)
Width to: 15ft (5m)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early summer
  • mid summer
  • late summer
Bloom Description: Maurelli Abyssinian Banana (Ensete ventricosum) produce white, flowers that are borne in inflorescences 3 to 4 feet (1-1.2m) long. Fruits are banana-like but dry and unpalatable.
Soil Type: Under glass, grow in soil based potting mix. Outdoors, grow in humus rich soil.
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Container Gardening
  • Attracts Butterflies
Pests and Diseases: Spider mites and aphids may be problems, especially under glass. No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids, spider mites, mealybugs and scale. Susceptible to anthracnose, wilt and mosiac virus.
Propagation: Sow Maurelli Abyssinian Banana (Ensete ventricosum) seed in spring after soaking in tepid water for 24 hours. Germination is erratic.
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification:

Maurelli Abyssinian Banana (Ensete ventricosum) - ‘Maurelii’, sometimes commonly called red Abyssinian banana, is a cultivar that is primarily distinguished from the species by its foliage that emerges with maroon-red tints and reddish leaf axils. In addition, it has a smaller growth habit, typically rising to 18-20ft tall in tropical areas but to only 8-10ft tall in temperate regions.

Options for overwintering include: (1) Bring container plant indoors in fall before first frost and place container in a large sunny room for overwintering as a houseplant, with reduced water and fertilization; (2) If container plant is too large to bring inside as a houseplant, cut foliage back to 6-8 inches in fall after first frost, and store container in a cool, dark, frost-free corner of the basement until spring, with periodic addition of a touch of moisture as needed in winter to prevent the soils from totally drying out; (3) If container plant is too heavy or too large to bring inside, remove plant from container in fall before first frost, wrap roots in plastic and store in a cool, dark, frost-free corner of the basement until spring (foliage may be trimmed back or left on the plant and allowed to brown up in the normal course). ‘Maurelii’ is reportedly more difficult to transplant than species’ plants, and therefore it is not recommended for growing directly in the ground with dig up in fall. (source, Missouri Botanical gardens )

Younger plants often will not flower and fruit for the first 3-5 years.

Source: Various sources including The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and the USDA

 

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Any Heat Zone 1 to 210+ Days
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Perennials
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